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/ There was the cook now, Mildred, Marian,
some such name as that—a red-headed woman,
quick-tempered like all her sort, but kind, too, if
you knew the way with her. Many a laugh they
had had together. She saved a plate of soup for
Maggie; a bite of ham, sometimes; whatever was
over. They lived well in those days. They had
everything they wanted (glibly, jovially, with the
tea hot in her, she unwound her ball of memories,
sitting in the wicker arm-chair by the nursery
fender). There was always plenty doing, people
in the house, twenty staying sometimes, and
washing up till long past midnight.
Mrs. Bast (she had never known them; had
lived in Glasgow at that time) wondered, putting
her cup down, whatever they hung that beast's
skull there for? Shot in foreign parts no doubt.
It might well be, said Mrs. McNab, wanton-
ing on with her memories; they had friends in
eastern countries; gentlemen staying there, ladies
in evening dress; she had seen them once through
the dining-room door all sitting at dinner.
Twenty she dared say in all their jewellery, and
she asked to stay help wash up, might be till after
Ah, said Mrs. Bast, they'd find it changed.
She leant out of the window. She watched her son
George scything the grass. They might well ask,